“Happy cows come from California” was the tagline of a popular commercial advertising the California dairy industry. If news out of Moscow is any indication, however, California may have some competition.
Studies have shown that happy cows produce more milk and produce more nutritious milk. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Moscow Region decided to take it a step further and conducted a study to see what impact virtual reality (VR) would have on cows.
The VR equipment was modified to fit the shape of a cow’s head, and the color spectrum was customized to match their eyesight, specifically the range of colors they see best. VR architects then created a program that simulated a summer field, rather than the confines of a dairy farm.
The initial test was successful in decreasing the cows’ anxiety and increasing their overall emotional mood. Further studies will determine if the emotional changes result in more milk production or higher quality milk.
Whatever the subsequent findings, there can be no doubt this is one of the more interesting use cases for VR and goes to illustrate the untapped potential of the technology to disrupt a wide range of industries.